February 23, 2018
Accenture's Technology Vision 2018: Unleashing the potential of the intelligent enterprise
By: Andrew Wilson

The Accenture Technology Vision for 2018, “Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed,” has recently been released. For me, it’s always exciting to see Accenture’s annual reflections on technology trends and it has been a great read. Each year the report highlights several technology developments that we think will have the greatest impact in the next three years. Here are some quick highlights:

Accenture’s IT organization is a very tangible illustration of an enterprise embracing technology trends as evidenced by our technology posture across platforms, modern architecture, insights, automation, security, the digital worker, experience, broadcast, and much more. We use the Tech Vision to influence where we go next. In this blog post, I’d like to highlight three relevant tech trends from the report and how we’re thinking about them as we digitally transform Accenture.

Trend: Citizen AI: Raising AI to Benefit Business and Society

Accenture is transforming itself into an insights-driven enterprise that embeds analytics into the core of nearly everything we do. An IT and Accenture Digital team led a companywide program of building comprehensive solutions for data management and analytics—including platform, processes, and an analytics studio. These solutions are supporting a range of solutions for client teams, sales, HR to the Accenture senior management group with more than 120 enterprise-wide analytics capabilities. We’re applying predictive models, AI, and machine learning to bring greater insights to the business to benefit the business in innovative ways. To “raise” our AI to be a responsible representative of the business, the team addressed data governance, data security, and data privacy with technologies and processes. This approach is fostering transparency and two-way dialogue, enforced by service-level agreements and a collaborative relationship between technology and legal teams.

Trend: Extended Reality: The End of Distance

Accenture has rapidly empowered our hyper-scale, global workforce of more than 435,000 people (and growing) with digital capabilities. These capabilities focus on experience, engagement, and user needs, and are integrated and seamless. Our approach builds on Accenture’s significant investments in social, mobile, pervasive video, broadcasting, and a secure network infrastructure. This combination allows all our people to do their best work wherever they are and on whatever device—securely. For Accenture, the end of distance manifests itself in our standardization and investments globally in the best platforms, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 10, and services like Microsoft Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, our suite of mobile apps, and high-definition digital broadcasts. Accenture’s recruits also get a feel for the end of distance by using virtual reality to get a unique, 360-degree view on the exciting work we do.

Trend: Frictionless Business, Built to Partner at Scale

At the outset of our digital transformation, Accenture focused heavily on shifting to platforms and ecosystem partners to accelerate our journey. We now have a platform-powered fabric that includes Microsoft Office 365, ServiceNow, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, SAP S/4HANA®, and SAP Ariba® in the cloud that runs our enterprise by connecting cloud providers, platforms, and services at scale. We’ve re-architected by organization to consume services in the commercial space. We are now able to respond more quickly than ever to our diverse businesses across Accenture. 

This change in architecture is enabling frictionless business for Accenture. Within Accenture, we have recently developed a new platform, Blockchain for Contracts, to manage and store legal contracts. It provides a high level of security through encryption and restricted data sharing while allowing for complete transparency. This phase of the solution is commercially ready. Next, we’re planning to look at the creation of smart contracts, financial automation, and marketplace offerings. 

The Accenture Technology Vision 2018 helps enterprises around the globe—including Accenture itself—succeed and grow in this digital era. I encourage you to take some time to read it. There is a short report, an audio book of the short report, and the full report. You can also follow #TechVision2018 on Twitter and other social media channels to learn more. Think about how the trends apply to your business, and share it with others in your organization.